Using Data in Construction Bidding

Construction Bidding

Subcontractors use construction data to stay on top of area analytics. They want to know what companies are winning the most bids for new-builds and commercial or residential renovations. The subcontractor that sent you a basket of fruit over the holidays? That’s the company that made money with you last year and wants to partner with you this year.

If subcontractors are on top of their game, they expect you to be even better informed. You have construction projects to bid. A lot of people and other companies depend on you to win the bid. What kind of information do you need to make profitable bids that hit a home run with municipalities, project managers and investors?

Ways to Bid to Win Construction Projects

You need a good software program to help you make the best bids. The construction bidding software for 2020 garnering the most favorable reviews and recommendations* include:

  • Adoddle
  • B2W Estimate
  • Building Connected
  • CoConstruct
  • Contract Complete
  • e-Builder
  • HCSS Heavy Bid
  • HeadsUp iCPM
  • iSqFt for General Contractors
  • McCormick Estimating Software
  • Methvin
  • OmTrak
  • Pantera Tools
  • PAS Concepts
  • Pipeline Suite
  • PlanHub
  • Relatics
  • SmartBid Bid Management

“Bid first, know your competition and don’t chase every job.” –Borderstates.com

Staying profitable in a competitive bidding environment means you need to know as much as possible about your local market. Every week, the latest regional construction project bids ready to preview are listed. Armed with that info, decide which jobs you can bid for profit:

  1. Do your homework – Be able to speak to design details and their ROI.
  2. Know who the decision-makers are – Learn what they require to build confidence.
  3. Push your qualifications – Be straight-up about why your team can deliver better value, stay within the budget, and meet project timelines.
  4. Embrace technology.

When You Have Construction Projects to Bid, Technology Delivers

Your software can help, but nothing can give you a better edge than local, timely, relevant construction data. Contact Construction Monitor. When you win, we win.

___
*Construction Monitor does not formally endorse nor recommended any project bid/management software.

Construction Data Will Strengthen Building Materials Industry

building materials industry

The first quarter of 2020 is seeing many industry ups and downs; that’s not unusual. Despite a very healthy economic trend nationally, there’s still an edge of uncertainty.

What has been somewhat anticipated for the construction industry is real: Standard & Poor reports U.S. housing starts are flat. Homeowner renovations are doing well but expected to slow between 1%-3%.

The building materials industry will see solid strength in some companies no matter what S&P predicts for 2020. Flying-By-The-Seat-Of-Our-Pants, Inc. will have to smarten-up quickly because when times are tough, the tough look to marketing and advertising for survival. This decade’s building materials sales are going to be driven by construction data.

Why We’re Seeing a Slowdown

Tariffs on Chinese imports continue to be the elephant in the room, and negotiators are considering rollbacks. But an increase in tariffs could definitely hit us where we live.

The cement industry is dealing with CO2 emission cuts, primarily in Europe but we know that what impacts the construction industry “over there” is a good predictor of what’s going to happen here. The good news for concrete materials is many states are increasing funding for aging roadway repairs.

Millennials are becoming more conservative about premium building materials (floors, interior design in baths/kitchens) and are opting for mid-range materials instead. 

John McManus in the January 6, 2020 issue of Builder magazine says building materials supplies are being influenced by “L” words:

  • Labor
  • Laws/regulations
  • Lending
  • Lots
  • Lumber/materials

How Applied Construction Data Builds Your Business

Before you begin tightening your belt and laying off employees, know that 2020-2021 will be a year for 1.5% growth in our industry. Any growth is good for business. That’s simply less growth than we’ve seen recently. 

You can use this slowdown to play catch-up or use this time to cultivate your marketing and sales strategy. Request:

  • Area-specific commercial, residential, solar construction leads
  • Detailed statistics
  • Geographic building permit data
  • Project reports
  • Real-time construction leads

…by calling 800-925-6085 or contact a data professional at Construction Monitor.

You have building materials, and we do too. Let us help you build your business this year and beyond.

How to Learn About Construction Trends in Your Area

Construction Trends

Learn to spot construction trends before your competition and you’ll gain access to pools of potential clients eager to get in on the next big trend. Construction data makes it easy to identify emerging trends by showing you exactly how your target market’s demands change over time.

Track Building Permit Data

An increase in building permits issued for a certain type of project is a clear sign demand for this project is trending upward. If you see bathroom remodels are starting to overtake kitchen remodels, that tells you not only what skills your would-be customers might be looking for in a general contractor, but also what kind of cabinets, countertops, and floor coverings will interest them. As a roofing contractor, you might notice the demand for roof replacements is down, but more homeowners are building additions, so you can adjust the focus of your marketing accordingly.

With access to in-depth building permit data, you’ll see not only what types of projects are gaining popularity but also which aspects of those projects are changing. Even if the popularity of kitchen remodeling is holding steady, you might discover the average value of those projects is rising. That could mean homeowners will be increasingly interested in luxury products.

Examine Data on Leading Construction Firms

Paying attention to what the most successful construction companies in your area are doing can lead you toward profitable trends. Data on these companies can tell you what types of residential and commercial projects they’re focusing on, how much these projects are worth on average, and where the work is happening.

Looking over the data on the biggest local company might show you they’re shifting their efforts toward commercial office spaces. If all three of the local top companies are making that move, you’re probably onto a trend. As a building materials supplier, you can get in on the trend by preparing to stock more material suited to office construction and targeting your marketing towards the needs of commercial builders.

For more on using construction data to spot profitable trends, contact us at Construction Monitor.

Getting More Value From Construction Data

Construction Data

Construction data services make it easy to pull up the exact market data you want, but once the data is in your hands, it’s on you to make the most of it. Knowing how to extract more value from the information you have puts you ahead of your less-savvy competitors.

Get an In-Depth View of Your Market

Building permit data gives you an overview of the type of construction projects in demand in your area, but that’s not all it’s good for. Project value can tell you what kinds of products are likely to sell well. If you sell cabinets or countertops and notice a lot of budget-conscious bathroom remodels going on, you can be sure you have potential customers out there looking for budget-friendly materials. On the other hand, if high-value bathroom remodels are on the rise in your area, make sure you can provide the kinds of timelessly fashionable, high-quality products affluent homeowners want.

Permit data can also help you find general trends in the market. If new roofs and kitchen remodeling projects are popular at the moment, that suggests residents are focusing on their existing property. A lot of new swimming pools and weekend cabins, however, might tell you your would-be customers are interested in developing their property beyond what they already have. That could mean they’re in the market for home additions, too.

Learn From The Competition

When you go through local building permit data, pay attention to which construction companies are working on the kinds of projects you want. Is there a reason they’re getting the jobs and you’re not? Maybe your company has more expertise, but your marketing isn’t making that clear.

Find the top three or four companies that serve your market and identify what they have in common. As an insulation contractor, if you find the biggest general contractors near you focus heavily on industrial projects, you’ll know there’s likely to be money in industrial insulation.

For tips on getting the most out of all the construction data you have, contact Construction Monitor.

Identifying Construction Trends for 2020

Preparing your business for the future is a lot easier when you have some idea of what to expect. Data on what’s happening in today’s construction market helps you develop the foresight you need to take advantage of emerging opportunities while steering clear of potential threats.

Shifting Demand in Project Types

Changes in the types of projects in demand in your area are some of the clearest trends that emerge from construction market data. Reviewing building permit data over time makes it easy to see what customers in your target market might be planning for the year ahead. For example, you might notice home additions are trending while remodeling jobs are in decline. If your company offers mortgages and financing, you might decide to rework your marketing or offer new loan packages to target homeowners who are planning additions.

More detailed data on these projects could reveal a trend in home additions, maybe master bedrooms are on the upswing.  If you sell fireplaces and stoves, marketing that highlights the benefits of a bedroom fireplace could help you attract customers who are getting in on the new bedroom trend.

Changing Methods and Materials

With the constant advance of construction technology, demonstrating competence with the latest construction methods and materials is an effective way to differentiate yourself from the competition. If data shows more and more top companies near you are moving toward modular construction, that’s a trend you could cash in on as a general contractor or roofing contractor. To set yourself apart, you might offer customization options your competitors don’t.

No matter what your specialty, trends in building methods can give you valuable insight into your market’s interests and values. Increased interest in modular construction suggests your would-be customers prioritize speed, cost-effectiveness, and flexibility over traditional appearance. As a floor coverings supplier, you could use that knowledge to focus more on materials that are low cost and quick to install.

For in-depth construction market data that will help you spot profitable trends, contact Construction Monitor.

Using Construction Trends to Improve Marketing Strategy

Improve Marketing Strategy

Even if you think you know your target market inside and out, their needs and wants will change over time. By staying on top of those changes and adapting your marketing strategy accordingly, you’ll be better able to profit from market demands.

Construction Trends

Local building permit data is an invaluable information source on trending construction projects and what types of projects are waning in popularity. Knowing that apartments and other multifamily housing projects are more common in your area than other types of commercial construction is a powerful insight that can lead you toward profitable target markets, which are fundamental to any marketing strategy.

Building permit data also helps you refine your choices of target markets. If you specialize in remodels, it’s useful to know whether bathroom or kitchen remodels are more popular or whether a marketing campaign to promote your attic finishing services is worth the time and money it takes to run one. 

Trends in what property developers and homeowners want can guide your choice of a marketing mix and your messages. If you notice a growing interest in smart home technology, you might decide to publish more website content showing how your products fit into a modern, high-tech home.

Social Trends

Keeping up with trends outside the construction industry lets you better anticipate your buyers’ overall needs in a way that grabs their attention. If you sell light fixtures and discover a work-at-home trend, you might develop a line of lighting products well suited to home offices and promote it on remote worker information blogs.

Tendencies in building permit applications can reveal social trends, too. An increase in cabin construction could tell you people in your area are interested in getting back to nature or finding simple ways to relax. You can use that information to create marketing material that shows how your products help meet those lifestyle goals. If you sell windows and doors, you might create a campaign focused on large windows for those who want more natural lighting.

For more tips on using trends to inform your market strategy, contact Construction Monitor.

Construction Marketing: 4 Things to Learn From the Competition

Because no two construction businesses are quite the same, your competitors are bound to have insight you don’t. Data on the top companies in your area gives you a better understanding of how your successful competitors do business so you can learn from their experience.

  1. Spot new opportunities – Learning what your competitors are working on and where they’re working helps you find new buyer sources. If you sell cabinets and notice a lot of renovations going on in a neighborhood full of historical homes, you’ll know a strong market for traditional cabinetry exists in the area. On the other hand, studying your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses can lead you to potential gaps in the market you can take advantage of in the future.
  2. Find fresh marketing angles – By evaluating the marketing messages, methods, and channels your competitors use, you’ll get a better idea of what works and what doesn’t. Your competitors’ marketing can also spark new ideas. If your floor covering competitors’ marketing emphasizes their durable office flooring, you might take the idea a step further by creating content that demonstrates exactly how much wear your office flooring can handle.
  3. Optimize your pricing – Checking out your competitors’ prices can tell you if you’re underpricing and leaving money on the table or if your prices are unusually high and possibly driving buyers away. If you find your prices are higher than average, but for good reason, you’ll know to highlight those reasons in your marketing.
  4. Stay on top of trends – If you’re a general contractor, the fact that two or three of your main competitors have cut back on their home addition services is valuable information. If building permit data also shows a decline in home additions, it’s safe to assume you shouldn’t rely on that market in the near future. That information can save you from inaccurate predictions that could sink your business. If you see a new product appear in a competitor’s ads, this can alert you to a trend before everyone else jumps on it.

For more on using what you learn from competitive analysis, contact Construction Monitor.

Is Your Marketing Strategy Well Informed?

Taking educated guesses about your target market might have worked decades ago, but with the wealth of data available today, it’s no longer sufficient or necessary. By leveraging data on the construction projects happening in your area, you can develop a marketing strategy based on facts instead of assumptions.

Researching Your Market Through Building Permit Data

Building permit data is a valuable source of insight into the types of construction services and products that are in demand in your area. Refining your data searches by project type, contractor or valuation gives you a more nuanced understanding of your market. With this knowledge, you can focus your marketing efforts on the hungriest audiences. If you sell waste management systems, you might notice permit data shows more commercial buildings than apartment buildings are going up. That tells you to focus your marketing strategy on promoting systems suitable for commercial waste management.

Work in an area that includes both urban and rural residents? Building permit data can show you whether there’s a stronger market among city housing developers or farms in need of agricultural buildings. Knowing that will inform your choice of marketing methods, platforms, and messages.

Including Top Companies in Your Competitive Analysis

You can learn a lot by reviewing data on the types, valuations, and locations of the projects top companies are working on. Knowing what your most successful competitors are up to helps you find new opportunities and spot things you might be doing wrong.

As a roofing contractor, if you discover all the top roofing contractors market their roof replacements and repairs more heavily than their new roof construction services, you can be sure that’s a profitable angle. On the other hand, if none of them specialize in flat roofing, a little further investigation might lead you to an untapped market. If your content marketing material doesn’t emphasis the low-maintenance aspects of your roofing as much as your competitors’ do, you might want to pay more attention to that.

For more ideas on using data to develop your marketing strategy, contact Construction Monitor.

Understand Your Competition and Propel Your Business Forward

Getting to know your customers isn’t the only way to learn about your market. Studying your competition can lead you toward new opportunities, help you define and capitalize on your strengths, and save you from expensive mistakes.

Spot New Opportunities

Researching what the competition is up to can reveal whole new markets you’ve been overlooking. If you typically sell kitchen and bathroom cabinets, but you discover the highest-valued builders in your area are thriving on retail renovations, it’s worth looking into the kinds of retail display cabinets they’ll be needing. Exploring the ways your competitors run their businesses can highlight opportunities for improvement in your own approach. Maybe you learn your strongest competitors all offer more extensive follow-up services than you do. By improving your after-sale service strategy, you might gain some ground on your competition.

Knowing what the competition isn’t doing is just as useful. No business can be everything to everyone, so your competitors weaknesses leave openings for you. Maybe you’re a framing contractor and you’ve seen an increase in building permits for home additions, yet no other local framing contractor seems to be targeting that market. Positioning yourself as a specialist in the finer points of framing home additions could bring you more business.

Learn from Their Mistakes

Keeping an eye on your area’s top companies can help you see when a company’s management has made a bad decision so you don’t make the same mistakes. If you notice a long-successful contracting company starts to lose its ranking, do some digging to find out why. Were they too dependent on a dying market? If so, you’ll know to avoid entering that market and to stay alert for signs of over-specialization. Did they try to expand too quickly? If they went from building only medical facilities to working on every type of commercial project within a few years, that’s a good indication to take your own company’s expansion a little slower.

To learn more about using data on your competitors to strengthen your business, contact us at Construction Monitor.

How the Right Data Can Help You Reach Your Ideal Customer

Even when you have a crystal clear image of your ideal customer, you still need to know how to connect with them in a time-efficient and cost-effective way. By alerting you to trends and spotlighting opportunities, detailed data on local construction projects can lead you straight to the clients you want most.

Spot the Trends

Reviewing local building permit data can help you find neighborhood trends that show where your ideal clients might be within your area. If you’re a general contractor focusing on home additions, a neighborhood with a high rate of home addition, remodeling, and renovation permits is a rich source of clients. Neighbors take inspiration from each other and once a few start renovating, more are sure to follow. Do a great job for one client and your name will spread through word of mouth. For financing providers, keeping an eye out for new building permits can reveal clients who are in the market for construction or home improvement loans.

Track Their Habits and Interests

When you know your ideal clients well, data from a building permit can help you surmise what the property owner might be buying soon. A building permit for a large house in an affluent neighborhood is a good indication the owner might be interested in high-end countertops, cabinets, and floor coverings. If you sell eco-friendly or smart appliances, looking for house plans that include solar or geothermal heating can help you find homeowners interested in cutting-edge appliances.

Hoping to find more repeat business? Looking at the construction history of a building tells you who might become a long-term client. If a homeowner renovated their kitchen one year and built an addition the next year, that suggests an on-going interest in home improvement. On the other hand, if a home hasn’t been renovated in the last 20 years, the owner might be actively searching for someone to do the job. You’ll have a chance to reach them before your competition does.

To learn more about using construction data to reach your ideal clients, contact us at Construction Monitor.